Saturday, May 24, 2008


The Surgery

The Surgery is scheduled for 7:30am on May 30th. I have to be at Wishard at 6am. Those of you who know me know that will be the most difficult part of the surgery for me. The doctor is allowing six hours for the surgery due to the invasive nature and the fact that he is actually performing two surgeries. He'll be taking less than an inch off my left femur, flattening it out, and re-wrapping the muscles to give me more padding at the end of my stump. He'll also be removing the extra (abnormal) bone from my left hip.

Due to the surgery my company is allowing me to take a Leave of Absence and utilize my Long Term Disability benefit for a minimum of twelve weeks. The amazing coincidence here is that May 30th was originally the date that my employment would end with Sodexo. We now have more time to find an internal solution that will keep me employed.

Initially the decision to do the surgery was a difficult one. The greatest risk is another round of infections. For this reason I will be in the hospital for at least four to five days so they can monitor and fight any potential infections. My other concern was that it might be too difficult for me to walk after the abnormal bone is removed, thus making all of my progress over the last two and a half years pointless. When we first became aware of the abnormal bone the doctor at the time said that removing it would require the removal of 80% of a muscle that I need to walk. He didn't say that I wouldn't be able to walk, but that it would be too difficult and I might give up.

The new surgeon has informed me that the muscle in question is almost completely calcified, which means that I'm not using it now. If the muscle is currently useless then losing it should not affect my ability to walk. If I don't have the surgery, then over time I will develop serious back issues due to the angle that I have to hold my body when I walk or stand. Also, with the abnormal bone blocking my range of motion, I'm not utilizing my left femur as much as I should. Over time this will allow my femur to begin to deteriorate to the point that I won't be able to walk at all.

The surgery will reduce potential back issues, improve the health of my femur, increase my range of motion, give me greater ability to bear weight on the end of my stump, and bring my center of balance back inside my body instead of somewhere out in front. Once I'm released from the hospital I'll return home, where I'll spend much of my time doing exercises to regain my range of motion. I'll begin a new round of Physical Therapy, and my left prosthesis will need to be refit and adjusted for my new range of motion. It's going to be a lot of pain, and a lot of work, but I think the benefits outweigh the risk.

More important than all of that, I can't ignore the coincidence here. Every time I've stood or walked for the past two years I've uttered a fairly un-prayerful prayer that the bone in my hip wasn't there. Now, when my employment and benefit coverage is on the line the decision to remove it (which I didn't think was possible), and extend my employment, has been dropped in my lap. I have to recognize the hand of God in this.

Be sure to check late in the day on the 30th, or on the 31st, for an update on the surgery. I'm sure either Sarah or Colleen will fill everyone in.

Thanks for describing the surgery better. We'll be able to pray very specifically for a beneficial outcome.

We love you and will be anxious to hear how you're doing after recovery.

Heather and Family
Our thoughts are with you on this.
Hang in there and we are praying for you. This short-term set back will soon pass also. Take care. Jennie and Jim
Wow I agree that this is not a coincidence but God taking care of you in his way. the first surgeon might have been right that back then would not have been the right time for that surgery; but now is a good time: in several ways. amazing!
I'll be thinkin' about you and hoping that the procedures and recovery go well/easy, with as little pain as possible, and that the benefits are fabulous for ya!!!
Please remember that your family in Virginia will be praying for you during the time of surgery and the recovery.

Harry and Lilla
Jeremy, This sounds as if it was meant to happen at this time. Good luck, our prayers will be with you.
The Armacosts
As I told your mom, the prayers up here are for a brilliant surgery and an absolutely boring recovery. God's continued blessing on you, Jeremy.
Love, Florence
Remember what I said about that window opening...? Wow.

You'll be in my prayers.

We will be praying for a speedy recovery. I know things will be fine. Tell Mom and Dad to be brave!
Cousin Cindy in Salem
Good Luck!

We will be praying for you,

Jeff and Amber
Good Luck!

We will be praying for you,

Jeff and Amber
thoughts and prayers for all concerned with your care and recovery.

Some people will do just about anything to get too see pretty nurses again...geez Jeremy. You know I had to add humor to this situation. My thoughts and all of my prayers are with you tomorrow as they are every night I speak to my beloved father in heaven. You will be fine. Your a fighter and a believer in all things have a reason....stay strong my friend, pain is no gain!!
Good luck and just think of the delicious hospital food...hahaha
Love you,
We've got you in our prayers in Virginia Beach.
Cousin Lisa
We've had you and your successful recovery in our thoughts and hearts since we read your blog about the surgery and even more so this morning as we started our daily routine & work. Just got a break now and wanted to let you know how much we care . . . .

Paula & Kenyon
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